Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone has their own standards of what a hero means to them. Personally, I'm my own superhero but that's a different blog in itself. As a hat retailer, our heroes are those that buys hats because they like it not because the current fashion temperature tells them to. When I first started in the retail industry, I took it as face value that only the "hottest brands and styles" (damn that sounds corny) will only sell. For the most part, that's definitely true and I don't see it changing any time soon. These hype brands will always have the biggest budget for marketing, will always be worn by the cool kids, and will also be dying and popping up. As the company's buyer, I had to follow these trends and bought into what was hot at the moment. Then things changed...
A year ago, we came to the realization that the game got it all wrong. Why do I have to buy into what another company is marketing as being "hot" and "stylish"?By doing so, we're just proving that these brands are right, which for the most part, they are. So this is where it get's confusing because if the hot brands are selling, why don't we just keep selling hot brands? The simple answer—money. When I sat back and realized the money is unfairly balanced, I knew we had to make a change in our strategy. We realized we had more power than we realized and for those who understands what vertical integration is, you know what I'm saying. Distribution in retail is the strongest asset a company can have, hell, distribution in most industries is the strongest asset. Simply put, if we've already established a customer base that buys buy's hats because they just simply like the hat and not because of the hype, why don't we just capitalize on it? That's exactly what we did.
I will not get into how messed up the backend of this industry is but let's just say the consumers have no idea how much they're getting played by most brands out there. Politics, inside jokes about consumers and the grab-n-go mentality is just the tip of the iceberg. We're not gonna go that direction, we're gonna go the unpopular route. The route where we will slowly fade away from the hype and entrench ourselves in the market and consumers that will forever be here.
Some of you have already noticed in the past year or so we've been going in a different direction. This was not by accident, this was a firm decision made by our team and it has been working. I know I'm really not disclosing what strategy we deployed because that's a company secret. Let's just say we making more and keeping A LOT more.
With that, we want to thank all the customers that bought a hat from us because they really liked the hat, not because it has a certain brand tacked onto the hat. You guys are the realest because everything else is just hype.
Then again, maybe I'm just salty because the bouncer didn't let me into the party that one time in L.A. in Little Tokyo.